Winzip: Working with Macadamian’s software development experts, WinZip successfully introduced WinZip Mac Edition – a powerful Mac OS X version.
Ensure that the Mac OS X version of an existing Windows-based software product would appeal to Mac users.
Develop a new edition that combines the best of the Windows product with the simplicity and elegance expected on a Mac.
• Company now has access to an entirely new customer base.
• Product features a familiar, intuitive interface that matches Mac user needs.
• Mac version has received excellent user and industry feedback.
Working with Macadamian’s software development experts, WinZip successfully introduced WinZip Mac Edition – a powerful Mac OS X version that has dramatically broadened the reach of its popular file compression and encryption technology.
WinZip Computing, a Corel Company, has offered the well-known WinZip utility since 1991. As the world’s most popular file compression software, WinZip also offers users the ability to encrypt confidential information, share files swiftly and safely, and backup important data automatically.
Until recently, WinZip was only available on the Microsoft Windows platform. To expand its reach, the company set out to develop a Mac OS X version to serve a new and important set of users. “In many people’s minds, WinZip is closely associated with Microsoft Windows,” explains Prasannaa Ganesan, Director of Operations for WinZip Computing. “We wanted to change that perception
and broaden its reach by developing a version for the growing Mac OS X user base.”
Porting the existing software to this new platform, however, would require more than a simple coding update. “User behavior is different in the Mac world,” Ganesan notes. “We recognized that the actual porting would be relatively straightforward, but that the look and feel would need to be very different – it would have to look, feel and talk like a Mac product.”
Finding the right outsourcing partner
Lacking the required in-house Mac expertise, WinZip looked for outside development help. “I’m a big proponent of outsourcing so we developed a spec, outlined our intent, and gathered some quotes,” Ganesan recalls. “Macadamian’s proposal stood out from the rest due to its quality, budget and time estimates. There was also a comfort factor because we shared the same time zone. It was reassuring to know that someone was a stone’s throw away from my office.”
WinZip also appreciated the project management services offered by Macadamian. “This would be a complex project with a lot of unknowns and uncertainty so we needed to be sure that our development partner would be able to manage all of the moving parts,” Ganesan notes.
Developing a market-ready product for Mac
Macadamian’s software developers began work by porting the underlying WinZip engine and associated pieces of code to the Mac OS X platform. With little documentation to work with, Macadamian worked closely with WinZip staff.
“The WinZip engine is proprietary and there are probably only a handful of people in the world who understand that code,” notes Ganesan. “To make things even more complicated, we were making our own changes to code while Macadamian was working. Macadamian’s processes and practices made it easy, though, to communicate information back and forth and allowed us to work together.”
Partnering for Success
In addition to hosting daily internal meetings that were open to WinZip, Macadamian used weekly calls and daily check-ins to remain in constant communication about the status and progress of the project.
“Macadamian came to the table with a lot of Mac expertise,” notes Ganesan. “They were very knowledgeable about the code and about how a Mac UI should be designed. Even though the WinZip engine code was completely new to them and they had to start from scratch, they were keen to understand more than just the technical requirements. They wanted to understand the business context behind our decisions in order to be a true development partner.”
Launching WinZip Mac Edition
WinZip launched its WinZip Mac Edition in November 2010 and has received excellent user and industry feedback. Combining the best of WinZip – including drag-and-drop Zip and email functionality – with the simplicity and elegance expected on a Mac, the product features an entirely new interface design.
“By tailoring the product to meet the needs of Mac users, we’re bringing new customers on board each and every day,” says Ganesan. “Mac users have a distinct set of requirements and expectations, and the WinZip Mac Edition is designed to address them.”
WinZip plans to continue work with Macadamian on future WinZip releases. “We hope to work with Macadamian on version 1.5 and beyond,” says Ganesan. “We were able to establish a good working relationship and can only benefit from the level of understanding and familiarity Macadamian now has with our product.”
About WinZip Computing
Since its introduction in 1991, WinZip Computing has been recognized as the world’s leading provider of file compression technology. Acquired by Corel Corporation in 2006, WinZip Computing offers the world’s most popular Zip utility, WinZip®, along with WinZip® CourierTM and WinZip® Self-Extractor.